The National Drug Take Back day scheduled for April 25, 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Summit County Community Partnership (SCCP) and their coalition partners decided that waiting until Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 would put too many residents at risk for medicine misuse or accidental overdoses. Instead, SCCP and partners are highlighting an At-Home Drug Take Back Week to coincide with the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration’s National Prevention Week, May 10-16, 2020.
At-Home Drug Take Back Week addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
With mandates in place keeping the public home, now is a great opportunity to clean out medicine cabinets and storage areas and dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs. While prescription medications can help us live longer and healthier lives, there is the potential for harm if these strong medications are improperly used.
Some of the most misused medications include opioids (hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine), depressants (Xanax, Valium, Ambien), and stimulants (drugs for ADHD, Ritalin, Adderall). You have the power to reduce the chances that these dangerous prescription drugs fall into the wrong hands, by practicing safe use, safe storage, and safe disposal.
“We encourage everyone to include their medicine cabinet on their spring-cleaning list. If a prescription medicine is expired or no longer needed, you can dispose at home with a Deterra™ drug deactivation pouch” said Darryl Brake, SCCP’s Executive Director. “Reducing access to unused medicine in your home protects your family, friends and neighbors.”
It’s easy to find a free pouch on your weekly shopping trip. SCCP is teaming up with Acme Fresh Market Pharmacy and Discount Drug Mart (Summit County locations only) to provide free disposal pouches upon request at their pharmacy counters. Independent pharmacies like Colonial Pharmacy,
Green Compounding Pharmacy, Klein’s Pharmacy and Sand Run Pharmacy also have the free pouches available.
“Acme Fresh Market is pleased to continue providing at-home medicine disposal bags for free to our customers” shared Katie Swartz, Vice President of Marketing for Acme Fresh Market. “As your local hometown grocer, we know how much a customer’s actions can positively impact our community.”
Each bag can hold up to 45 pills, 6 ounces of liquid or 6 patches at one time. Users place medication in the bag’s pouch, fill it halfway with warm tap water, let the bag sit open for 30 seconds, then seal it, shake it and toss it into the trash. Pouches are made from environmentally friendly materials, so they are biodegradable and environmentally sound. A video that demonstrates how to use the Deterra bags can be viewed by visiting the Summit County Community Partnership’s Facebook page.
If getting to a pharmacy is difficult, you can request a free pouch through Verde Technologies who is simultaneously running a campaign to safely deactivate 500,000 pills nationwide. You can request a free pouch at https://deterrasystem.com/safe/ through May 16, 2020.
SCCP will be hosting a SafeRx Twitter Chat on Monday, May 11th from 12:30-1:30 p.m. EST if anyone has questions about medicine safety practices. To access the chat, follow #SafeRxChat beginning at 12:30 p.m. Aaron Salwan, Pharm D., MPH and 2010 Stow Graduate will be joining the chat along with SCCP Staff. All are welcome to join.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the At-Home Drug Take Back week event, go to https://cpsummit.org/deterra-project/
** Summit County Community Partnership Background Information**
Summit County Community Partnership was founded in 1990 as a consortium of community individuals, businesses and organizations committed to preventing substance abuse in Summit County. Our mission is to facilitate coalitions of community resources in order to prevent alcohol and other drug abuse in Summit County. We use evidence-based prevention techniques, information, and activities in an attempt to infuse them into every community system. More information is available at www.cpsummit.org.
May 6, 2020
Darryl A. Brake, Executive Director
Summit County coalition plans At-Home Drug Take Back Week after National Drug Take Back Day cancellation